Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

From coast to coast, Navy personnel helping stop COVID-19 spread

Military personnel wearing face mask getting people ready for the COVID-19 vaccine Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz (left), from Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton, is supporting community-based vaccination sites in New Jersey. FEMA personnel along with the Department of Defense’s Title 10 Vaccination Support Team are helping residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 (Photo by: Kenneth Wilsey, Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton has sent several staff members across the continent to aid the Department of Defense Community Vaccination Center support.

Navy Capt. Benjamin Schwartz, chief experience officer and pharmacist, and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Erick Morcillo of surgical services are deployed as part of U.S. Northern Command to assist whole-of-government vaccination efforts in New Jersey

Schwartz and Morcillo are but two of approximately 6,000 Navy Medicine active and reserve component personnel deployed in support of operational COVID-19 missions, augmenting the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The two departed in March with a Navy and Army team of 23 members from across the nation. As part of DOD's Title 10 Vaccination Support Team, they have been working directly with FEMA, Joint Task Force Civil Support, New Jersey State Police, other law enforcement officers, local departments of health, AmeriCorps, Rutgers University nursing students, and other DOD staff and partners.

They are helping to provide Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 1,800 people weekly in three urban underserved communities in Orange and Newark, New Jersey.

"We are in a supporting role to FEMA and New Jersey including relevant departments of health," said Schwartz, working out of vaccination sites that include local churches and schools.

The DOD received a request from FEMA in February for support in administering COVID-19 vaccine at locations across the country. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved the request to augment and expedite vaccinations nation-wide, ordering the first contingent of more than 1,000 active duty military personnel to support state vaccination sites. As Austin announced, DOD "must help the federal government move further and faster to eradicate the devastating effects of the coronavirus."

The fatality figures are daunting. The virus has claimed more American lives than those lost in all military campaigns from World War Two to the present.

"The greatest challenge to our country right now is the pandemic," Austin said.

Schwartz, Morcillo, and others on teams at approximately 17 community vaccination centers in 12 states are taking on that task to help eliminate the virus. Their efforts are adding up. According to statistics from U.S. Northern Command, as of April 16, 2021, over 3 million vaccinations have been administered by active duty DOD service members in communities across the country.

"Our team, along with other joint teams supporting urban underserved communities, is not only increasing the total number of people vaccinated, but is specifically increasing the percentage of people of color vaccinated," said Schwartz. "The soft power and healing hands we project in urban underserved communities throughout our COVID-19 vaccine mission has made a difference not only in the health of the people we serve, but also a lasting positive impact in hearts and minds."

With his Navy Medical Service Corps background and experience in pharmacy, Schwartz has provided crucial capability in vaccine handling.

"Once daily supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials is received, my expertise in pharmacy enables safe administration of vaccine," he said. "Throughout the day, we prepare dosages for administration and ensure other members on the team appropriately prepare dosages."

One of those team members is Morcillo.

"HM3 Morcillo has been instrumental in administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to community members. He has also served as a translator for those who speak Spanish," Schwartz said, adding that all service members have made a favorable impression in providing support in an area where the presence of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine uniforms isn't commonplace.

"Many of the community members I have interacted with have voiced their appreciation of the service we provide. I feel positive about the work we are doing, and having the community's support is very meaningful," said Schwartz.

You also may be interested in...

Be Cyber Vigilant and Avoid COVID-19 Scammers

Article
5/5/2020
Soldier sitting in front of two computer monitors

Take these steps to protect your personal information

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Cybersecurity Awareness

Mobility Airmen conduct historic first aeromedical evacuation mission using Transport Isolation System

Article
5/4/2020
Image of three people exiting an aircraft

The TIS is an infectious disease containment unit designed to minimize risk to aircrew, medical attendants, and the airframe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement

MHS expedites COVID-19 and flu test results

Article
5/4/2020
Image of technician taking a nasal swab of a patient

Find out how to access results and stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

CDC maintains childhood immunization guidelines during COVID-19

Article
5/1/2020
A child receives a vaccine during a visit to the clinic.

What you need to know about getting your child vaccinated

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Army veterinarians post FAQ for pet owners to Army Public Health Center COVID-19 website

Article
4/30/2020
Woman laying on couch with her dog

Studies are underway to investigate human to animal transmission in multiple animal species.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19: Know symptoms and next steps to help ensure full recovery

Article
4/30/2020
Soldier taking the temperature of another soldier

Symptoms of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: WRNMMC on front line of COVID-19 war

Article
4/29/2020
Image of soldiers and businessman in suit walking through an emergency shelter lined with beds and medical equipment

For patient and staff safety, WRNMMC started restricted access control points March 12.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Amid COVID-19, seasonal influenza still a threat to force readiness

Article
4/29/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a flu shot to a navy officer.

New Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine available May 2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Influenza Summary and Reports | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere

BAMCheroes appreciation

Video
4/29/2020
DHA Seal

Our community has been a great source of support! Check out some of the positive feedback Brooke Army Medical Center has received for our incredible healthcare professionals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS pharmacies adapt services amid COVID-19

Article
4/28/2020
A pharmacy technician stands at a car window delivering medications while wearing a mask and gloves.

Curbside, drive-thru, parking lobbies among solutions for prescription pickup

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

What is an EUA?

Video
4/28/2020
What is an EUA?

Emergency use authorizations (EUAs) are one of several tools the FDA is using to help make important medical products available quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what exactly is an EUA?

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

General’s visit punctuates engineering efforts converting arena to alternate care site

Article
4/27/2020
Image of a contractor and a soldier looking at a blueprint

The project cost $1.26 million and was completed in one week.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Medical lab workers ensure readiness and wellness behind the scenes

Article
4/24/2020
Image of woman in lab coat looking at samples in test tubes

This week, thank a medical laboratory professional

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

MHS Minute - Military Medicine: On the Front Lines of COVID-19

Video
4/24/2020
The MHS Minute, Special Edition: COVID-19

Agencies across the federal government are partnering up to combat COVID-19. Find out how the Military Health System is doing its part to support the U.S. response to this pandemic, while ensuring our Service members remain ready.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Video Message from LTG Ronald J. Place, MD

Video
4/24/2020
DHA Seal

Thank you for continuing to do your part to help flatten the curve

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < ... 36 37 38 39 40  ... > >> 
Showing results 556 - 570 Page 38 of 43

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.